Bruce Lee Podcast

Bruce Lee Podcast

United States

Join Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and culture analyst Sharon Ann Lee for a conversation about the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was a famous martial artist, movie star and cultural icon--but his philosophy has caught fire around the world inspiring millions searching for meaning and consciousness. Each episode will dig deep into Bruce’s philosophy to provide guidance and action on cultivating your truest self. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”


#43 Be a Nobody  

Bruce Lee often carried around philosophical ideas written on small index cards as reminders throughout his day. One of these was: “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” To him, this meant, get the ego out of the way, have some detachment, and be a blank slate--a human being first. That way you can approach each situation anew with fresh eyes. Be as neutral as you can be. “Establish nothing in regard to oneself. Let things be what they are. Move like water, rest like a mirror, respond like and echo, pass quickly like the nonexistent, and be quiet as purity.” As an active person with big goals, Bruce often encountered obstacles throughout his day and quotes like this helped center him and maintain his flow. “I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and the world within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive.” This is not to say you should not exercise your willpower, it’s to say that your willpower should be connected to your essence and your heart. “It is to see things as they are and not to become attached to anything – to be unconscious means to be innocent of the working of a relative mind – when there is no abiding of thought anywhere on anything – this is being unbound. This not abiding anywhere is the root of our life.” Be in response to everything in the moment. Be free of masks and identities. If we get too attached to any identity, it takes us into a direction away from our essential humanity. “My only sure reward is “in” my actions and not “from” them.” “You cannot hurt that which is formless. The softest thing cannot be snapped and emptiness be confined.” “To be consciously unconscious or to be unconsciously conscious is the secret of nirvana. The act is so direct and immediate that intellect finds no room here to insert itself and cut it to pieces.” Take Action: Be a nobody and go on a social media diet. What does it feel like to go on a break from their outward projection of identity? Another step is to write down this quote, “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” and carry it around for a week and use it to help you navigate situations without ego. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He was the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. From 1981 to 1993 he lived in the U.S. and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design in NYC. He began experimenting with art by altering ready-made objects. In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill. This is when he started doing his first architecture projects. In 2008, there was an 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province and Ai led a team to survey and film the post-quake conditions. Ai felt that the government lacked transparency in revealing the names of the students who perished in the earthquake and so he launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile the names of the victims. He has been viewed very harshly by he Chinese government because of his activism and was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed. We just want to applaud Ai Weiwei for his courage and for being a real artist in the world. We think you’re awesome Ai Weiwei! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Carrie L. M.: “I think what moves me most, is the commitment to not just present Bruce Lee's material accurately, but that you both are very congruent and committed to your personal growth not only in the process of presenting this legacy, but in yourselves. This adds an element of integrity to the cast which makes it even more of a powerful force in passing forward the wisdom Bruce honed and mastered over the years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#42 The Underdog & The Top Dog  

Bruce Lee played many characters that were unassuming and didn’t want to get into fights, but then could kick everyone’s butt in 10 seconds when he needed to. As a small Asian man, no one expected that sort of power from him. Because of the characters he played, many people think of Bruce Lee as an Underdog who became a Top Dog through dedicated training. He gave everyone who felt underestimated or undervalued hope and strength. In this episode, we talk about Bruce Lee’s broader philosophical ideas of The Underdog and the Top Dog. An Underdog is a person thought to have little chance of winning a fight or a contest; a person who has little status in society. And the Top Dog is usually an aggressive Alpha-type person. Bruce called the Top Dog and the Underdog the "two clowns" of our personality. “The Top Dog usually is righteous and authoritarian; he knows best. He is sometimes right, but always righteous. The top dog is bully and works with “you should’ and “you shouldn’t.” The top dog manipulates with demands and threats of catastrophe, such as – “I you don’t, then…you won’t be loved, you won’t get to heaven, you will die…” and so on.” “The Under Dog manipulates with being defensive, apologetic, wheedling, playing the crybaby, and such. The underdog has no power. The underdog works like this, “I tried my best; I can’t help it if I fail. I have good intentions.” So you see the underdog is cunning, and he usually gets the better of the top dog because the underdog is not as primitive.” “So the top dog and the underdog strive for control. They strive for each other for control. The person is fragmented into controlled and controller. The inner conflict is never complete because both the top dog and the underdog fight for their life.” People often view Bruce Lee as a perfectionist, but he was actually against perfectionism as the ideal. “The ideal is a yardstick which gives you the opportunity to brow beat yourself, to berate yourself and others. Since this ideal is an impossibility, you can never live up to it. You are merely in love with this ideal and there is no end to the self-torture, the self-nagging, self-castigating. It hides under the mask of “self-improvement.” It never works.” At the bottom of his essay on the Underdog and the Top Dog, Bruce writes: NOW = EXPERIENCE = AWARENESS = REALITY Take Action: Do you identify more strongly with Underdog or Top Dog? Can you identify the two sides within yourself? Once you notice where you let the Top Dog out or the Underdog out, try in that moment to reel it back to create more space and resist the habitual reaction. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Tony Award Winning playwright, screenwriter, and theater professor David Henry Hwang. His early plays dealt with the role of the Chinese American and Asian American in the modern world. David has won many awards including the Obie Award for FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) and was the first Asian American playwright to win a Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly. After that he became a frequent collaborator as a librettist with world-renowned composer Philip Glass. In 2014, David premiered his play Kung Fu about the life of Bruce Lee at the Signature Theater Off-Broadway. David has done a lot of amazing work and is excellent at shining a light on the depictions of Asians and Chinese in America. We think you’re awesome David Hwang! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from listener Tommy N.: “Listening to the podcasts and stretching, meditating, cooking organic food, going to the market, creating new recipes, really going with the flow and bettering myself, I realize that Bruce Lee was able to realize the 'Buddha' potential and was able to work daily on cleansing the mind, body, spirit, of uncleanliness that pervades our 'toxic' 'ecosystem environments.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#41 Unity  

Bruce Lee lived his life as a human being who was connected to all of humankind—one unified family on this planet. He said, “You know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under then sky, under the heavens, there is but one family.” What we need, especially in these divided times, is a message of unity and connection. Bruce Lee has a way of uniting people, and his fans are global. We continue to hear stories of how Bruce has affected so many different people from all around the world. One such story is about the town of Mostar in Bosnia, After years of enduring a violent civil war, they finally reached peace and wanted to build a monument that symbolized this new peace. They decided to construct a statue of Bruce Lee as a “symbol the whole community could rally behind” and a “monument to the idea of universal justice, one idea having that justice, knowledge, honesty, good intentions can fight against corruption, evil, ignorance.” To many people around the world, Bruce Lee symbolizes an energy of universal justice because he lived with integrity, advocated for the underdog and dedicated his life to self actualization and being in harmony with his fellow man, his community and the planet. No matter where Bruce was in his life, his close friends said he always treated people the same and authentically—no matter who they were. His wife Linda would say that Bruce looked at everyone evenly. “Wisdom does not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to “ride” them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.” “The world is to be seen as an inseparable, interrelated field, no part of which can actually be separated from the other. Oppositions are mutually dependent instead of mutually dependent instead of mutually exclusive, and there is no longer any conflict between the individual man and nature. That is, there can be no bright stars without dim stars, and, without the surrounding darkness, no stars at all.” Take Action: Think of something you can do to create unity energy in your life and try to take action towards it. Think of a person who you would normally have judgment for, and try to have compassion for them instead. #AAHA Allen Joe is credited with giving Bruce Lee his first set of weights and inspiring Bruce to build up his body. Allen trained under Ed Yarick with such luminaries as the four Mr. America Body Building Championships: Clancy Ross, Jack Delinger, Roy Hilligenn, and Hercules-actor Steve Reeves. In fact, Allen was the first Asian to win the Mr. Northern California Bodybuilding Championship in 1946. He is also a World War II veteran, Allen currently 94 years old says, “you can never forget Bruce, once you have met him” and indeed, he still carries a picture of Bruce in his wallet. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from Khnum “Stic” Ibomu (dead prez): “I am a hip hop artist and producer (dead prez), and Bruce Lee's legacy and philosophy has been one of my greatest inspirations. I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude for the impactful work you are doing to continue sharing the legacy of your father in a way that is tremendously helpful for others. I can't put into words how much of an inspiration and personal contribution he has made and continues to make in my life. I truly appreciate the podcast and how much love goes into sharing his philosophy and making the concepts tangible and actionable. Bruce's wisdom is immeasurably valuable and your eloquent unpacking has given me new layers of perspective and invigoration. Thanks to Bruce's inspiration, I realized that I am not limited to fit in any one box and I've been able to explore and develop many aspects of my self from the "no way as the way" Philosophy I have adopted from His teachings.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#40 Real Truth  

Truth was an important concept to Bruce Lee and it shows up often in his journal entries. But the way he used the word “truth” was not to describe a fact or to be the opposite of a lie. He wrote about a deeper, more of a philosophical, spiritual definition of truth—a concept close to the Tao. It’s why we’re calling it The Real Truth. “The word Tao has no exact equivalent in the English language, to render it into way, principle, or law, is to give it too narrow of an interpretation. Although no one word can substitute for its meaning, I have used the word truth for it.” Bruce understood Truth to be the Tao or the way of the universe. Truth is nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and there a little bits of Truth in all things. This is the way of nature. “Truth is a pathless road, a road that is not a road. It is total expression that has no before or after. How can there be methods and systems by which to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path but not to that which is living.” The Real Truth is something that’s alive, something that we are in relationship with, and happening in the present moment. “Truth comes when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody. It is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything.” “I’ve said before truth is nowhere to be found on a map, your truth is different than that of mine. At first you might think that this is truth, but later you discover another truth and the former truth is denied, but you are, in fact, closer to truth. Perhaps when we have found more about what is not the truth we will be that much closer to the truth.” A core tenet of Bruce Lee’s philosophy is independent inquiry. “We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart from the answer; the problem is the answer.” If you are moved to this path of Truth, you will come up against established ways and you’ll have to confront your own biases. It’s ok to hold on to your truths, but you should check in regularly with yourself to see if they remain true. “I’m a changing as well as ever-growing man.” Take Action: Are you a seeker? Do you want to be a seeker? Acknowledge that you’re a seeker and on this path to truth and freedom. Tackle one judgment or cultural context that you were raised in and be in inquiry with it. Are you happy in your everyday life? What shifts can you make to amplify your joy? #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Japanese artist and writer Yayoi Kusama. She has worked in a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, collage, performance art, and environmental installations. She was a part of the pop art movement and influenced Andy Warhol, and exhibited alongside them but did not receive very much recognition during the 1960s. Kusama is now recognized as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan. In 2008, Christies’s New York sold a work for her for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the MOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Hirshhorn Museum. Her Infinity Room exhibit is currently on display at the Broad in Los Angeles. Yayoi Kusama, you are so awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Bruce P.: “I just wanted to say thank you for the great podcasts. I am a hospice chaplain and I obviously deal with grief all day long on a daily basis. Shannon's frequent laughter as she discusses Bruce's philosophy and daily life certainly helps me break out of the oppressive spiraling memory of what I have just witnessed at the bedside of a patient. Thank you for the refreshing dialogue and thought provoking discussions presented in such an entertaining way.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#39 Experience and Imagination  

Taky Kimura once wrote Bruce Lee a letter saying that the students at Bruce’s Gung Fu studio were asking for more techniques. Bruce wrote back that they didn’t need “more” but to go deeper into the practice and expand the students’ imagination: “First and foremost I would like to impress a most important rule of teaching in your mind and that is the economy of form. Follow this rule and you will never feel like you have to add more and more so-called sizzling techniques to keep your students interested.” “I hope I have impressed in your mind a most important rule of our style. Stick to the program I have given you, use variety, and do not worry too much that your student need more and more to stay with you. True only if they can do perfectly all that you’ve taught them. Remember, the idea that one has to come in thousands of times in order to perfect one judo throw. And of course, use your own experience and imagination, and you will do well. I have faith in you, Bruce.” Bruce was trying to communicate the difference between experience and imagination or another way he expressed this ideas was knowledge and knowing. “Knowledge is from a source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a movement, is a constant movement. Therefore there’s no static state, no fixed point from which to act. Knowledge is binding but the movement of knowing is not binding.” When you’re stuck in a set pattern, this is where imagination comes in and asks: What if this is not true? Where can this lead instead? Imagination expands the experience to infinite possibilities. Imagination can feel really big or fantastical, but just by questioning something you are using your imagination and seeing something that wasn’t there before. “If you learn concepts, if you work for information, then you don’t understand, you only explain. When a man is thinking, he stands off from what he is trying to understand.” Go ahead and learn the knowledge—even master the knowledge, but also apply it to the real world, test it out and see how you can modify it to fit your own needs. Cut away all that is not essential until it fits you perfectly. Bruce Lee always customized ideas or practices to fit his own mind body and spirit. “Remember, I am no teacher. I can merely be a signpost for a traveler who is lost; it is up to you to decide on the direction. All I can offer is an experience, but never a conclusion. So even what I have said needs to be thoroughly examined by you.” Take Action: Test a formula or conclusion that you have. How can you customize it? Where are you finding yourself bored? Inquire as to why you’re bored. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Inbee Park who is a South Korean professional golfer who plays on the LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour. In 2013 and 2014 she was ranked #1 in the world and has won seven major championships in her career. She is the youngest player to win the Women’s US Open and the second player to win the Women’s PGA Championship three years in a row. In 2016, she won the first Olympic gold medal since 1900 in the women’s individual tournament. Inbee you’re killing it, and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Ven: “After hearing your podcast on Bruce's Lee poetry I simply had to write to you both. I remember you both mentioning the importance of expressing yourself to the ones you love. Whether that be through writing a poem about that person or just generally breathing life into the feelings you have inside about them in some way. Well for me, I wrote a song about my long-time girlfriend of four years, LeCreshia. I released the song on my social music sites in honor of my true and genuine appreciation for her for sticking with me all these years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#38 Confidence  

Bruce Lee embodied so much confidence both onscreen and off that you might have assumed that he was born that way. But in fact, self-confidence was a trait he practiced and cultivated with clear intention and a daily ritual. “I know, through the principle of auto-suggestion that any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object. Therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.” In these 10 min, Bruce would reference his daily affirmations and visualize succeeding, and then he would take action. Another part of his confidence practice was not being dependent on the approval of others or letting their criticism hold him back. “The spiritual power of man’s will removes all obstacles.” “Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open all energies toward it and its rewards are tangible.” “Remember my friend, it’s not what happens that counts but how you react to it. Your mental attitude depends on whether you make it a stepping stone or a stumbling block.” “Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.” “Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts all problems are brought into existence, drop them.” If you have faith in yourself, then all of these worries and anxieties will dissipate. “Persistence, persistence, persistence. Just don’t give up. The power can be created and maintained through daily practice, through continuous effort.” “Because one’s self-consciousness is too conspicuously present over the entire range of ones attention, one should get rid of the intruding self and apply himself to the work to be done, as if nothing in particular were taking place at the moment.” “What does self-willed mean? Hell, isn’t it knowing that one is the captain of ones soul, the master of one’s life? Accept responsibility for yourself.” “Success means, doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly." Take Action: Make a 10 min. daily practice of putting your thoughts towards your goals, saying your affirmations aloud, honestly praising yourself, and willing yourself to take action. Turn this into a journal entry and pick one action item that will help you towards your goal. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA comes as a recommendation from listener Jeronimo, thank you Jeronimo for telling us about Mark! Mark Bustos is a Fillipino American who is a hairstylist for an elite salon in NYC with a celebrity client list and provides free haircuts to the homeless. His idea is simply to give back. Mark says, “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel. We all know what it feels like to get a good haircut.” We want to say thank you for gifting your talents, you’re awesome Mark! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thomas: “The big, intimidating problem, high on speed and blocking the door, walking toward me demanding money, also indicating he has a gun. As terrified as I am I realize that this is what I have been training for all my life. a moment of crisis; a possible injury or death. I remember my lessons which I take as don't define this moment, be free of my ideas of this being bad or good, of facing death or the threat of dying with dignity. Be a lesson in how you care for this moment. Because he is too high, he is in danger of harming all of us, me, my girlfriend and her father who may return any moment, and himself. His actions show me he is not able to take care of us, so it is my responsibility to care for us all.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#37 On Being Human  

“Being a real human being” is a concept that comes up often in Bruce’s writings, he didn’t want to be considered just an actor or a martial artist, but as a human being who was growing, evolving and creating. “The function and duty of a quality human being, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization.” “Do you know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under the heavens, under the sky, there is but one family.” There is a unifying quality to Bruce Lee that connects us on a human level. This unifying philosophy is needed now because of the divisiveness among people in the world. “The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism, are traditions which are nothing more than a formula that was laid down by elder peoples experience. As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula. I, Bruce Lee, am a man who never follows these formulas of the fear mongers. So no matter if your color is black, or white, red or blue, I can still make friends with you without any barrier.” “If I say that everyone under the sun is a member of a universal family, you may think that I’m bluffing and idealistic. But if anyone still believes in racial difference, I think he is too backward and narrow. Perhaps he does not understand man’s equality and love.” “I’m not one of those guys who can just brush people off. If I can take a second to make someone happy why not do it? A person cannot forget someone who is good to them.” Most of our anxiety and pain comes from feeling disconnected and just little moments of empathetic human interaction can make us happier and feel like a human being. “Sensitivity is not possible if you are afraid.” “The point to be made about ego is that man should use his ego and not be used by ego or blinded by it.” “Don’t have an attitude, open yourself, focus yourself, express yourself, and in doing that connect with people so that they can share in the expression of who you are.” Take Action: How do you move through the world? Are you open to growth and change? Do you think of people as the “other”? If you find yourself feeling fearful about human connection and vulnerability, why is that? Try to just smile at another person. Find small ways to open the door a little. Pick someone who you already like and share with them something you appreciate about them. If you go out into the world with the view that we are all one family, how does that change how you interact with the world? #AAHA This week we have an #AAHA nomination of Tyrus Wong from listener Lauren L.: “I would like to nominate the late Tyrus Wong for the #AAHA segment of your podcast. In his 106 years of life, he was an incredible artist; of paintings, murals, and kites. He comes from rough beginnings where, at the age of nine, he immigrated with his father from China. His career as a designer, illustrator, and storyboard artist for Hollywood was most certainly no cake walk; especially as an Asian man in his profession during the 1930's-1960's. The number of times he had faced discrimination and being called "chink" is hard to keep track of. Despite the struggles, Tyrus did succeed in his field. He was the storyboard artist for a number of notable live-action films like "Rebel Without a Cause" and he was the head artist on the Disney animated film, "Bambi." #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thinh L.: “The episode "Medicine for my suffering" thoroughly resonates with me. Early 2012 I developed a spinal condition known as spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra in my lower back becomes disjointed from the other. Like the quote says, "the ailment came from within myself". I was my own worse enemy in this instance. But I also realized that I was my own best medicine.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at The full version of the show notes is at

#36 Gung Fu  

Gung fu translated means: discipline and training toward the mastery of some skill. It is applied to martial arts but it can be applied to anything. Ultimately, Gung fu is a pathway toward mastery and a deeper understanding of yourself and life. Yin Yang is the basic structure of Gung fu. This is expressed with the Law of Harmony: “One should be in harmony within and not rebellion against the strength and force of opposition.” “The law of harmony thus fits in with the law of non-interference with nature, which teaches a Gung fu man to forget himself and follow his opponent. He does not move ahead but responds. So the basic idea is to defeat the opponent by yielding to him and using his own strength against him.” “No-mindedness is not a blank mind that excludes emotions, nor is it simply a calm or quiet mind. It is the “non-graspiness” of the mind that constitutes the principle of no-mindedness. A Gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror, it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing, it receives but does not keep.” “Concentration in Gung fu does not have the usual sense of restricting the attention to a single sense object. It is simply a quiet awareness of whatever happens to be here and now. The mind is present everywhere because it is nowhere attached to any particular object and it can remain present because even when relating to this or that it does not cling to it.” If you have such artistry and mastery then in you are in the flow. The attainment of self-mastery or connectedness is grown through the daily practice of life. We can all be artists of our own lives, through our discipline, practice, and training at being a human being, you can gain freedom and transformation. “There are three stages in the cultivation of Gung fu: the primitive stage, the stage of art, and the stage of artlessness.” “Remember that man created method and method did not create man. You yourself are expressing the technique, you’re not doing or following the technique.” Gung fu is anything you practice with effort, discipline, harmony, and humility, towards mastery. “True mastery stems from mastery of oneself. The ability developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.” Take Action: What is your Gung fu? What is it that you are actively working on mastering? It doesn’t have to be a physical skill, it’s a skill that is natural to you and should excite you and bring you joy. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Korean-American filmmaker and actor Justin Chon. He just premiered his film “Gook” at Sundance. It’s a film about living through the LA riots in the 90’s and his family’s experience owning a market that was looted. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the riots and Justin wanted to create a film about the Korean American experience during that time. About half of all the damage caused by the LA riots were to Korean businesses. The police weren’t coming to help them so the shop owners had to defend the stores themselves. Justin raised money through Kickstarter, and actually raised double what he asked, which showed him that people really wanted this story told. We think it’s great that you’re creating your own projects, Justin--you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment excerpt comes from Matthew R.: “I suffer from PTSD, OCD, & Social Anxiety from the trauma of hearing of [my father’s] death and other traumas I experienced in my life. I have always been a fan of your dad and his outlook on life. I recently started listening to the podcast and love it. It is very therapeutic for me. A quote, and the story behind it, of his that has recently made a big impact on my life is, "When life gives you obstacles you must summon the courage and walk on!" Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at Full version of our show notes at

#35 Personal Liberation  

The idea of Personal Liberation was very important to Bruce Lee. This idea was so important that his wife Linda included the quote “Your inspiration continues to guide us towards our personal liberation,” on Bruce’s headstone in Seattle where he and his son Brandon are buried. Many of Bruce’s writings cover the topic of personal liberation and its connection with flow and freedom. “Freedom is something that cannot be preconceived. To realize freedom requires an alert mind, a mind that is deep with energy, a mind that is capable of immediate perception without the process of graduation, without the idea of an end to be slowly achieved. Pre-formations simply lack the flexibility to adapt to the ever changing. At this point many would ask, ‘How then do we gain this unlimited freedom?’ I cannot tell you because it will then become an approach. Although I can tell you what it’s not, I cannot tell you what it is. That, my friend, you will have to find out all by yourself, for there is no help, but self-help.” Some patterns that we set-up are good for the moment, but we have to constantly be aware and tweaking so that we live in the moment. Personal liberation relates to being in a process, living and understanding your authentic self. “When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to its feverish activities. There will be a letting go and it is only then, in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of understanding, understanding which is not thought, can take place.” “Where there is resistance there is no understanding. A so-called well-disciplined mind is not a free mind. A choice method, however exacting, fixes the mind in a pattern, a crystallization. Fixing forms can never bring freedom. This type of dead drilling is not an adequate response to the ever-changing moment. This ever-changing moment must be met newly, freshly for the moment is always new.” Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. “Listen, can you hear the wind? And can you hear the birds singing? You have to hear it. Empty your mind. You know how water fills a cup? It becomes the cup. You have to think about nothing. You have to become nothing.” Take Action: Observe closely what you normally practice without judgment. Where are you feeling stuck or trapped? Where are you striving and straining to do something? Document where you feel peace of mind, what is happening when you feel that freedom from patterns. If that can be captured and repeated, make time for that on your calendar and dedicate weekly time to create more moments of peace of mind. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Vietnamese-American actor Ian Alexander. Ian’s debuts his talents on Netflix’s show The OA. His character is Buck Vu, an Asian transgender teen, just like Ian himself. At only 15, the OA is Ian's first acting project, but his performance is outstanding. He got the part because he responded to an online open casting call. Ian’s family has lived in Japan, Hawaii, and D.C., and he’s always had an interest in the arts and is an advocate for trans rights. We know that especially in the Asian community, it can be challenging to be anything but the “norm,” so we want you to know you’re awesome Ian! Check out The OA on Netflix, it’s great and we love the diverse cast. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s excerpt comes from Jeddy A. read more at My “Bruce Lee Moment” occurs every morning during my dawn meditation and movement practice. Every 15 minute bike ride to work. Every window of opportunity - however brief - to tap into your father’s message and decide how that fits into my own experience. Of all the layers and textures of Bruce that I relate to, the most resonant is his journey of holding and living a massive vision while relishing in the magnificence of my wife and 1 year old son. Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#34 Living the Oneness of Things  

“Life is wide, limitless, there is no border, no frontier.” Bruce Lee believed that there were no limitations or borders in life, and this is reflected in his core tenet of Jeet Kune Do: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.” When you encounter boundaries or walls in life, then it’s time to step back and see if there is another way. These blocks mean the way you are going is not working, not that you can’t do it. The baseline for living in oneness with life is embracing the limitless condition of life. You may face plateaus in life but there are no limits to how much more you can learn, grow, enjoy life, be happy and become conscious. “The oneness of all life is a truth that can be realized only when false notions of a separate self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are forever annihilated.” Living in oneness is living in a connected state with your environment, nature, and those around you. The pain a lot of people experience is when they have feelings of isolation from their environment or other people. “We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed have no rigid system in you and you will be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond, like an echo.” “The western approach to reality is mostly through theory and theory begins by denying reality. You talk about reality, you go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense, intellect and abstract it away from reality.” In Taoism: “The world is seen as an inseparable, interrelated field, no part of which can actually be separated from the other. That is, there would be no bright stars without dim stars and without the surrounding darkness no stars at all. There is no conflict between individual man and nature.” “Life is a living now. Completeness, the now, is absence of the conscious mind striving to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken apart, it is no longer complete.” Take Action: What are some of the things keeping you isolated from others and your environment? What changes can you make? Take a survey of your activities, behavior, and space because sometimes you form habits that keep you separated. When you are feeling connected, how does that make you feel? How can you expand on that? #AAHA This week’s #AAHA shout-out is a group since recently at the US Ice Skating Championships Asian Americans dominated taking home gold in three of the four events. Karen Chen won the women’s title, Nathan Chen won the men’s title, and Maia and Alex Shibutani nabbed their second consecutive title in ice dancing. Karen Chen, age 17, had a record breaking program which she choreographed herself. She is one of the big hopes for Olympic Gold. Nathan Chen, also 17, is the youngest men’s champion in 51 years. He is the first skater to land five quads in a single performance. He is also America’s hope for the Olympics. Maia and Alex Shibutani are a brother and sister ice dancing duo who returned as reigning champs and they held onto their title winning gold again. They are also considered favorites to win gold in the Olympics. You guys are killing it and we can’t wait to see you in the Olympics! We think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This #BruceLeeMoment comes from Geovany C. read more at “I’m looking for a new kung fu studio. May I ask, is there a school in this world close to his teachings, and if there is one, please may your share this location? No matter where it is I will save up to go there. That’s how much I believe it will better myself. I’m looking to really study and change my life into Bruce Lee’s philosophy.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and your #ActionItem progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#33 Bruce Lee Superfan: Daniele Bolelli  

This week we talk with Bruce Lee superfan Daniele Bolelli. Shannon first met Bolelli when he was interviewed for the documentary “I Am Bruce Lee” and later she was a guest on his podcast “The Drunken Taoist.” Bolelli is an Italian born author, college professor, martial artist, and has two podcasts, “The Drunken Taoist” and “History on Fire.” Bruce Lee came into Bolelli’s life when he was a 7 year old kid growing up in Italy. Daniele and his dad watched a Bruce Lee movie together and he was hooked. Bruce’s energy and personality as a movie star captivated the young Bolelli, but he built a life-long relationship with him by reading Bruce’s writings and philosophies. Bolelli is also a martial artist who starting his training at 15. He finds that Bruce Lee’s philosophies are helpful in studying martial arts and life. Like Bruce, he studied several styles of martial arts including Chinese kung fu, Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing, wrestling and MMA. He currently prefers Judo because of the aesthetics of the big throws and the “ground game” where he gets to put Taoism in action. He says the ground game is like playing high level chess with your body and that it’s not just about brute strength. “If you dedicate yourself to one thing and one thing only all the time, then it’s not about life anymore, it’s about that one field…Anything you do in life should be at the service of enriching you as an individual. It shouldn’t be the other way around that you sacrifice your individuality in the name of this one field or this one idea. That’s missing the point.” - Bolelli The Bruce Lee philosophies that are most relevant to Bolelli are: “Research your own experience” and "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” These concepts have influenced Bolelli's whole life, and also inspired one of his books called “Create Your Own Religion.” Similar to Bruce Lee, Bolelli writes down what he wants out of his life and his goals. He takes time throughout the week to write down ideas or thoughts, and this helps with his mental clarity. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Daniele Bolelli’s #AAHA shout-out goes to his 7-yr-old daughter, Isabella who is half Chinese. He is so inspired by her wise thoughts and ideas that he often writes them down and occasionally features them on his podcast The Drunken Taoist. He has been documenting her thoughtful ideas since she could speak so it’s becoming a collection of her own wisdom that he will eventually give to her when she’s older. She even has a Bruce Lee postcard by her bed. Thank you Isabella—we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment excerpt comes from listener Phil C. read the full moment online at “I was listening to your Steve Aoki podcast and his mention of the racism he experienced growing up reminded me of one of the two Bruce Lee moments I had: The first one was in junior high. I was sometimes bullied there. One tormentor was about to beat me but before he did, he asked if I knew kung fu. I didn't answer. He backed off, probably because my not answering meant maybe I knew some (and that I'm of Chinese ethnicity, probably helped, the stereotype working in my favour). The art of fighting without fighting.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#32 Finger Pointing Away to the Moon  

"Don't think. FEEEEEEEEL! It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!" In this scene from Enter the Dragon, Bruce is teaching his student about the importance of staying fully present in the moment. If you just concentrate on the finger, you’ll miss the glorious experience of the moon. We often take ourselves out of a moment we are experiencing for many reasons—to analyze it, to think about it, or document it. Even when we pause to take a picture of a beautiful sunset, we have to leave the moment of experiencing that sunset to take the picture. When we do this, we lose the feeling of the moment. “There’s too much tendency to look inward at one’s moods and to try and evaluate them, to stand on the outside and try to look inside is futile. It’s like turning on a light to look at darkness. Analyze it and it’s gone.” “Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go we can start really seeing, feeling as one whole." An important part of the lesson Bruce is giving in this scene is about the process of relating, being in relationship with the whole thing, not isolated. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person, relationship is a process of self-revelation, relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself. To be is to be related.” “To live is a constant process of relating, so come out of that shell of isolation and conclusion, and relate directly to what is being said." So many of us are hungering for a connection, even if we don’t know to articulate it. What’s driving a lot of the pain in the world is viewing people or the planet as separate from us or as the “other.” “The primary reality is not what I think, but what I live.” “I do not experience, I am experience, I am awareness.” Bruce Lee was living in the present moment all the time. Take Action: Take note when you pull away from an experience to analyze it or try to hold onto it. When you feel the connectedness or excitement of the moment, instead of pulling away just be with it. Compare this feeling to when you pull away and document or think about the moment. Another practice is to have a moment of silence when you feel that connected experience to stay in the moment. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Sammy Lee, the first Asian American man to win Olympic gold and the first American man to win two consecutive golds in platform diving. Sammy Lee was named to US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. Lee was also a physician and served in the US Army Medical Corps in South Korea and coached several Olympian divers. He learned to dive at a public pool in Pasadena, but was only allowed to go on Wednesdays, the only day Latinos, Asians, and African Americans were allowed to use the pool. Then the pool was drained and refilled with clean water. Even after becoming an Olympian, Lee continued to face discrimination, including being told he could not buy a house in a certain neighborhood. Sammy Lee Square is named after him in Koreatown, he has a spot on the Anaheim Walk of Stars, and an elementary school named after him. Sammy Lee, we honor you and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from Kristy, read more at “Being keen to journal, I previously wrote down my bigger 'why' or purpose and steps to achieving what I most desired. However, I noticed, there it was again…that striver giving me plans, actions, strategies to be better - to become perfect! So, instead after your podcast I decided to revisit my why, and come up with my own affirmations and anchors back to stillness when my mind becomes noisy, not to become perfect, but instead to simply acknowledge and celebrate who I am.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations or your #ActionItem progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#31 The Root  

The Root was an important concept to Bruce Lee. The Root is where real knowledge and real personal expression can spring from, the starting point and essence of “Who am I?” “What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge and the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression, and surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning, and imposing limitation and it squelches creativity.” “The Root is the fulcrum on which will rest the expression of your soul. The Root is the starting point of all natural manifestation. It cannot be when the root is neglected that what should spring from it will be well ordered.” Your body is the vehicle through which you manifest everything, even your thoughts. When we neglect the vehicle that holds our vital energy then we can get ungrounded. Bruce Lee was integrated with mind, body, spirit and his body was in service to his greater Purpose in this world. Even if your path in life is not of an athlete or martial artist like Bruce Lee, you still need your body to carry out your plans, dreams, and to move through the world. “The Root is the foundation and the Root is the knowing, it’s the inner wisdom that you have.” Your body is sending you signals all the time, and gives you a definite feeling about questions you ask yourself. You can use your body as a divining rod to gauge your true feelings about a situation or a decision. Bruce was directed by his heart--his love, passion, and joy were all strengthening his Root. “When I look around I always learn something, and that is, to be always yourself and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it, but start from the very root of your being which is: How can I be me?” “This achieving the center, being grounded in oneself is about the highest state a human being can achieve.” “We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy in life, to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity, yes, yes, yes.” Take Action: If you’re feeling unrooted, think of the last time that you felt in tune with your body--when was that? Write down the memories, you’ll likely see a pattern. Identify discomfort in your body, aches or anxiety, where and when do you feel this way? Another exercise: write down the answer to “How can I be me?” Keep asking yourself this over time as it is answered differently as you grow. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Aziz Ansari, American actor and comedian. Aziz is known for Masters of None, Parks and Recreation, and his stand-up comedy. Ansari was born in South Carolina, and graduated from NYU as a marketing major. He started doing stand-up while at NYU and in 2008 joined Parks and Rec. Ansari offers intelligent, thoughtful comedy and continues to do stand-up throughout his acting commitments. After the Boston Marathon bombings, Ansari performed a benefit at the Wilbur Theater in Boston and all ticket proceeds went to The One Fund and The Officer Richard Donohue Fund. Aziz, we love your work and think you’re awesome, thank you for making us laugh! #BruceLeeMoment This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Gerry, read more online: As a long distance trail runner: “The miles in between are so tough but to arrive at an aid station, where there is water and food and just such beautiful powerful good energy, is so uplifting and strengthening that it renews ones life force to move through the race. So the phrase "aid station to aid station" came to represent the ideas both of reducing a larger challenge into smaller ones, and also that we can't do this alone.” Share your #AAHAs and #BruceLeeMoments with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#30 Purpose  

Bruce Lee was driven by his own Purpose in life: “All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life: peace of mind.” Bruce’s Purpose was “peace of mind,” rather than his specific goals of becoming a big movie star or financial success. His big Purpose was self-actualization. “Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken a part, it is no longer complete. All the pieces of a car that has been taken a part may be there, but it is no longer a car in its original nature which is its function or life.” If your goals are infused with purpose, then it never feels like you’re striving, it feels like it’s a pursuit of becoming. You feel like you’re becoming more of yourself in the accomplishment of your goals rather than needing to accomplish goals for outside accolades and prestige. So much of our culture is built on the pursuit of things, prestige and status—these do not make us happier and often cause anxiety. “I don’t really worry about the reward but to set into motion the machinery to achieve it.” “A purpose is the eternal condition of success.” It’s hard to find your purpose if you are struggling with simple tasks, but if you can imbue your daily tasks with purpose, then they can be easier to accomplish and less overwhelming. “Come to some sort of realization as to whatever your pursuit might be. In my case, it has been the pursuit of becoming moment to moment, and constantly questioning myself: What is this Bruce? Is it true or not true? Do you really mean it or not mean it? Once I’ve found that out, that’s it.” For everyone asking what your purpose is, your main purpose is to become your true self. You don’t have to have your purpose figured out, but put yourself on a path to find it. Do you feel like you’re in the flow, or stagnant? Take Action: Ask this: Can I create purpose around whatever task that I have to do? Take a mundane task and infuse it with purpose. A larger research project would be to ask 10 people close to you how they experience your essence and the moments when they see you come alive and express joy. Ask: when do you see me light up or become joyful? People close to us can sometimes see us more clearly than we can see ourselves. AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we highlight Lulu Wang, an American filmmaker and writer. Shannon knows Lulu because they worked together several years ago when Lulu was first starting out. Born in Beijing and classically trained in piano, Lulu graduated from Boston College with a double major in Literature and Music. In 2016, Lulu released her first feature length film “Posthumous” and earlier in 2014 she was awarded the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship. Her short film “Touch” premiered at the 2015 Palm Springs International ShortsFest and won Best Drama at the Asians on Film Festival. In May 2016, Lulu wrote a story for NPR’s “This American Life” that is being developed into a feature film. Lulu you’re successfully pursuing and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment is from Gakuji Tobiyama, read the full version at “When I first heard him talk about his water analogy, that was my first Bruce Lee Moment, because right then, I knew I had not been living my life like water but rather a block of ice. Drop me and I smash into pieces, clench me long enough and I'll give the beholder a mild frostbite…I'd been brittle solid ice for a long time, and Bruce Lee taught me to let my "mental molecules" change state to allow myself to flow smart or "crash" through mental barriers with intent and intensity.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#29 In My Own Process  

During one of the busiest times in his life, Bruce Lee wrote a letter to himself titled “In My Own Process”. When Bruce wrote this, he had just halted production on Game of Death was in mid-prep for Enter the Dragon which included re-writing script pages, creating fight choreography, and being a producer. He was moved to pause and write several drafts of this letter to himself—each version was an evolution of the ideas he began pondering. Through the different versions, you can witness his thinking and creative process—adding, building and refining with each iteration. He wrote: “At the moment I’m wondering for whom am I writing this organized mess? I have to say I am writing whatever wants to be written.” “I have come to the realization that sooner or later what it really amounts to is the bare fact that even an attempt to really write something about ones self demands, first of all, an honesty towards oneself to be able to take responsibility to be what we actually are.” “What it boils down to is my sincere and honest revelation of a man called Bruce Lee. Just who is Bruce Lee? Where is he heading? What does he hope to discover? To do this a person has to stand on his own two feet and find out the cause of ignorance. For the lazy and hopeless, they can forget it and do what they like best.” Most of us spend our lives avoiding these questions or distracting ourselves, Bruce confronted these questions directly. “The truth is that life is an ever going process ever renewing and it just meant to be lived but not lived for. It is something that cannot be squeezed into a self-constructed security pattern, a game of rigid control and clever manipulation. Instead, to be what I term “a quality human being” one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.” Take Action: When you feel compelled to express something meaningful to yourself, write it down. Keep track of all the different versions to research your own life and mark your progression. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to a close family friend of Shannon’s, Taky Kimura, a Japanese America, martial artist, and one of Bruce Lee’s best friends. Taky was one of Bruce Lee’s top students, closest friends, best man at Bruce’s wedding, first person Bruce certified to teach Jeet Kune Do, one of Bruce’s first assistant instructors, and was pallbearer at Bruce’s funeral. Taky is in his 90’s and still teaching in Seattle, WA. Taky’s family was interred in WWII with his family and experienced a lot of the prejudice and racism that followed the war. Taky met Bruce when he was in his 30’s and credits Bruce with renewing his spirit. Taky has lived a quiet life and has trained people in his family’s grocery store basement for free. Taky, you have been a wonderful friend to Bruce and Shannon’s family, and you’re awesome, thank you! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Felix Sinn in Hamburg, Germany, read the full version in our show notes online: “I moved away from my family and friends south Germany up north to Hamburg, where I am going my own way and where I founded my company. And I am not only working on the company but also on myself and on being myself which seems to be a lifetime challenge. I am 28 years old now and there is nobody who I could copy, nobody who tells me what to do, and no mentor. And although I did not know too much about Bruce´s person I felt his philosophy. It felt like some of his spirit lives in me all the time and now as I hear all the information about him and his philosophy in the podcast, it is like you would tell me all these things that I already had in my heart but couldn´t express it in words like Bruce did.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#28 Day in the Life of Bruce Lee  

This week we discuss a typical day in the life of Bruce Lee, his habits and activities on an average day when he wasn’t filming. The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle has an exhibit called “A Day in the Life of Bruce Lee” and you can make your own “Day in the Life” infographic here. Bruce Lee believed in the restorative powers of sleep, typically getting about 8hrs a night. He went to sleep around 11pm and got up at 7am. In the mornings he would stretch and go for a jog. Bruce liked to use jogging as a form of meditation. Following his morning workout, Bruce had breakfast then played with the kids. Then he would usually teach a private lesson in his students’ backyard or in his own backyard. Between the hours of noon and 4pm he would have lunch and then either teach or work on his writing. Then, he would have an hour and a half for his own personal training (his second workout of the day!) Bruce spent his early evening hanging out with the family and playing with the kids. For the rest of the evening, Bruce would have dinner and extra training with his students and friends. He had a Wednesday Night group, mainly students from his classes, who would come over for extra instruction and philosophical conversations that would turn into a communal dinner. Bruce didn’t have a regular 9-5 job, but his workday consisted of a few hours of concentrated effort, a break, and then a couple more hours of concentrated effort and so on rather than one long 8 hour stretch. This Day in the Life of Bruce Lee shows what productivity and harmony is possible for anyone. What's obviously missing from his daily routine is any TV or computer time. Bruce dedicated time for physical, mental and spiritual development in his daily life—creating a harmonious day filled with training, learning, teaching and connecting with family and community. Take Action: Document your every day for a week or month to see how you spend your time. Technology makes it easy to record your day, find the app you like. Are there any changes you’d like to make or things you’d like to add to your life? You can also create your own day here. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. Listener letters: We’ve been receiving lots of emails from our listeners updating us on their #ActionItems and their #DefiniteChiefAims so we’d like to share a few of them with you in our shownotes online. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is Maya Lin, an American designer and artist known for her sculpture and land art. She first came to fame at 21 as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Maya won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and it was a controversial design since it was non-traditional, she was an Asian female, and she lacked professional experience. Maya actually had to go before Congress to get them to approve her design. She has said that had it not been a blind selection process then she wouldn’t have been selected. Now she owns and operates the Maya Lin Studio in NYC and in 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Maya we love your work and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Eric Colby, who wrote us before about a leadership opportunity at his work and now he’s writing to tell us how it went, read the full version at “The thoughts that I ultimately decided to share came from your episode on Goals, Mistakes, and Success…from aiming high in your goals in order to broaden your horizons and see what is possible, to listening to your mistakes in order to grow, to recognizing that defeat is a state of mind and only has power over you if you accept it, to defining success as "doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly."” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#27 Energy: Vital Life Force  

When Bruce Lee was 21 he wrote: “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision, it is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand. Whether it is the godhead or not, I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me. This feeling defies description and no experience with which this feeling may be compared. It is something like a strong emotion mixed with faith, but a lot stronger.” This energy is something that Bruce Lee talked about a lot, and energy is also often how we talk about Bruce Lee. Bruce would talk about energy in relation to his willpower, vital life-force to create, to move, to accomplish, and to motivate. He talked about it as a creative and spiritual force within himself and also talked about not wasting this force but using it for good. “A creation uncontaminated by thought. The creative tide in us that flows outward.” Bruce also recognized that this energy is infinite and connected to the spiritual force of the universe. Like Bruce Lee, we all have this vital life-force within our bodies and it’s ours to cultivate. “The function and duty of a human being, a quality human being that is, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization. One additional comment, the energy from within and the physical strength from your body, can guide you toward accomplishing your purpose in life and to actually act on actualizing your duty to yourself.” Your energy can be really hampered by your mind when it gets into these worry-filled loops. This preoccupation with negative thoughts and worries will drain your energy. Be aware of where you’re wasting your energy. Take Action: Run an experiment where you limit your exposure to draining people or activities, and increase your exposure to energizing people or activities that make you feel great. Reframe your negative thoughts into positive or neutral thoughts. See how you feel at the end of the day. Then you’ll start to have all your energy to create and manifest your truest self. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we want to recognize I. M. Pei, renowned Chinese-American architect. He was recruited in 1948 by New York real estate magnate William Zeckendorf and went on to establish his own independent design firm. I. M. Pei went on to design buildings around the world including the glass and steel pyramid for the Musee de Louvre in Paris. He came from a family known for selling medicinal herbs, but felt the call to pursue architecture and design. On April 26th, 2017 I. M. Pei will turn 100 years old! I. M. Pei, we find your work and life inspirational and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Emil Monajemzadeh, here's an excerpt and read the full version at "In January 2016 I found a school in Copenhagen where I could learn Kung Fu and Yoga. I remember talking to my shifu after my first training session, and our conversation went exactly like follows: "What do you do besides this?" "I study Philosophy." "Then you have come to the right place." " Yes I know." I think university students sometimes can be quite full of themselves thinking they are better than others. Because of this I felt like I couldn't use much of my knowledge for anything, also because of the pressure that is on all the subjects in the humanities right now. But in realising that all knowledge is self-knowledge I found a whole new way of studying - mainly to not study others through reading but rather myself." Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#26 Bruce Lee Superfan: W. Kamau Bell  

This week we sit down with Bruce Lee superfan, and self-professed Bruce Lee geek, W. Kamau Bell! He’s a comedian and TV host. He hosts CNN's United Shades of America, and podcasts Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period and Politically Reactive. Kamau Bell became a Bruce Lee fan as a kid watching 70s martial arts films on TV. He thought Bruce Lee was in tons of movies because of all the knock-off Bruce Lees on TV. It wasn’t until he was 13 when he went to the video store and found “Enter the Dragon” that he realized that the real Bruce Lee was the real deal. He watched the VHS tapes over and over and sought out Bruce’s other film. That’s when Kamau became a superfan. He bought all his movies, got Bruce Lee posters, made his own iron-on T-shirt of Bruce and converted his friends to fans. He even created a petition at his high school to get Bruce Lee a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He studied Wing Chun because Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun and took a bus all the way across Chicago to study it. As a young man, he thought a career in martial arts was more feasible than a career in comedy, but Kamau always wanted to be a comedian. Trusting his inner voice is something that Kamau got from Bruce Lee, following his own path in his career and doing it his own way is something he saw Bruce do. As the son of a single mom, Bruce Lee’s philosophy helped guide Kamau while he was growing up, showing him how to be a man and how to gain a secure sense of self and know his limitations. The Bruce Lee philosophy that had the biggest impact on Kamau was: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” Following Bruce Lee’s example, Kamau invents his own path in Hollywood, seeking and creating projects that honestly express his true essence. He also trusts his intuition to avoid what doesn’t feel right for him and his family—sometimes that means turning down gigs that are lucrative. But he is confident that his own eclectic path is the right one for him. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is recommended by Kamau Bell. Irene Tu is an up and coming San Francisco based stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. In 2016, she was named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Stand Up Comedians” by the SFist. Thanks Kamau for supporting your local SF talent and introducing us to Irene. Irene—you are awesome! #BruceLeeMoment The #BruceLeeMoment that Kamau returns to often is the moment in Chinese Connection when Bruce Lee comes into the enemy's martial arts studio and fights everyone and wins. Bruce says at the end of the fight: “Now you listen to me. I'll only say this once. We are not sick men.” This statement resonated with Kamau as a young black man trying to claim his own space in a racist society. He was moved by Bruce Lee's confidant statement of resistance against oppressors and taking pride in his people. Over the years this scene about claiming space for your people continues to grow in meaning for Kamau and it’s something he continually addresses in his work and life. Watch the scene: Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#25 The Art of Dying  

When Bruce Lee spoke about the Art of Dying, he did not mean dying in the literal sense, but as a metaphor for letting go of the past and things that limit you, so you can be a fluid human in the present moment. “Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to learn the way to lose. To accept defeat, to learn to die, is to be liberated from it. Once you accept this you are free to flow and to harmonize. Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.” Bruce was constantly practicing this idea of dying because to him it meant returning to beginners mind and neutrality. He even had an art piece tombstone created which stated, “In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess.” This was a physical reminder to let go of anything that keeps you rigid or limits growth. “To understand and live now, there must be a dying to everything of yesterday, die continually to every newly gained experience be in a state in choiceless awareness of what is.” Dying in this instance is more about living in the moment, and being able to continue to be the student and learn. “Drop and dissolve inner blockage, a conditioned mind is never a free mind. Wipe away and dissolve all its experience and be born afresh.” “We live in clichés in patterned behavior, we play the same role over and over again. To raise our potential is to live and review every second refreshed.” “People try to hold on to sameness, this holding on prevents growth.” “To desire is an attachment. to desire not to desire is also an attachment. To be unattached then means to be free at once from both statements. In other words it is to be simultaneously both yes and no, which is intellectually absurd.” “If when you’re being knocked down, you can stop and say ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ then if you can examine that in that way then there’s hope for your growth.” Take Action: Practice being in the present moment and letting go. Where are you being rigid in your life? Where can you bend more? Where do you have a firm attachment to an idea or position? If you can identify the attachment and create a little bit of space between you and the attachment then you are on your way to freeing yourself from that attachment. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Ang Lee, Tawainese born director, screenwriter, and producer, known for many iconic films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life of Pi, Hulk, and Brokeback Mountain. Ang brings both East and West to his films, exploring the fantastic and the dramatic. He has two Oscars, both for Best Achievement in Directing, a testament to his incredible storytelling and cinematic talent. He’s always pushing the boundaries of film technology—but he only in service to the story and emotional experience of the film. Ang Lee completely devotes himself to his work and only works on one project at a time. He’s also a longtime Bruce Lee fan. Thank you Ang for your incredible artistry, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment is from Daniel from Australia, below is an excerpt, read the full moment in our show notes on our website: “I remembered the ‘Don’t think, Feel’ statement again, but it was not ironically until I heard about the Bruce Lee podcast. I was concentrating on listening to the intro to the podcast when I realised I had applied this philosophy unknowingly for the longest time and had actually became ‘water’ myself, adapting it to mean that even though your hurt with a loss, to stop and think about the life you had together and remember the love that came from that is what's important!” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#24 Poetry  

Bruce Lee started writing poetry when he moved from Hong Kong to the U.S. at age 18. He wrote poetry to express his feelings of contemplativeness, love, melancholy, and oneness with nature. The poetry was a way to process and understand his own feelings. Bruce also wrote poems and letters to his wife Linda expressing love and gratefulness for her. Linda says that she can still feel the warmth of his love through his writing. Bruce Lee was a masculine man of action who also had a very integrated feminine side. He was always cultivating both Yin and Yang. The Dying Sun The dying sun lies sadly in the far horizon, The autumn wind blows mercilessly. The yellow leaves fall From the mountain peak two streams parted unwillingly. One to the west one to the east. The sun will rise again in the morning, the leaves will be green again in the spring but must we be like the mountain stream never to meet again? Love is like a friendship caught on fire Love is like a friendship caught on fire, In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce but still only light and flickering. As love grows older our hearts mature, and our love becomes as coals deep burning and unquenchable Walking along the bank of lake Washington The breeze on the bank already blows cool and mild The distant merging of lake and sky is but a red trace of sunset The deep silence of the lake cuts off all tumult from me Along the lonely bank I move with slow footsteps Alone, the disturbed frogs scurry off Here and there, are houses, cool beads of light spring out from them A dazzling moon shines down from the lonely depths of the sky In the moonlight I move slowly to a gung fu form Body and soul are fused into one. Take Action: Write a poem, and either keep it for yourself, or share it with someone. Or find a poem you like and read it aloud. Take a moment and write down how much you love and are grateful for someone in your life, date it, and give that note or letter to that person. You can also share those sentiments in person. Here are good resources for poetry and poetry recordings: If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is a recommendation from Marcus Wang, read the full version on our website: I think it’s wonderful that you take the time to recognize Asian-Americans and Hapas who are making a difference in our world, and I’d like to introduce you to Derrick Wang, a charismatic young composer and attorney with degrees from Harvard, Yale and Maryland Law who has achieved renown in the world of opera - a rarity for an Asian-American. Your podcast on harmony brought him to mind - Derrick’s recent acclaimed opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg,” focuses on the unlikely but genuine friendship between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Antonin Scalia. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BLM comes from Sarah in London, read the full version on our website: “The quote of 'be water my friend' has really stayed with me since I heard that first episode. At work I have been challenged by several senior leaders due to a project I am leading, and at times those challenges felt very personal. I held your fathers words in my mind during those moments and at first I tried to be still and calm like water - however that made me feel stagnant and immobile, and a little like a punching bag, but then I remembered your father's words about water crashing and flowing, and have since focused on not seeing people or things as obstacles but simply detours or interesting bends in the road. They are not obstacles to me and I will not batter myself against them but will flow around or over them. This has given me a sense of calm and strength.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

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